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Two Private Colleges Join to Educate More Nurses

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Mercy College of Health Sciences

The push to prepare more nurses to fill a growing shortage within the profession is resulting in another educational collaboration. This joint venture involves two private colleges in Des Moines.

A partnership between Drake University and Mercy College of Health Sciences will enable students to earn two bachelor degrees in four years. They will come away with a BS degree in Health Sciences from Drake and a BS in Nursing from Mercy. The dean of the school of nursing at Mercy College, Nancy Kertz, says the accelerated program will help fill a significant number of job openings in nursing.

“The opportunity of increasing the number of nurses into the Des Moines and Iowa communities is so important during this critical nursing shortage,” she says.

Kertz, says the goal is to quickly fill a shortage of nurses in Iowa.

“An accelerated program allows us to produce high-quality registered nurses for not only the Des Moines area, but the rural areas of Iowa,” she says.

Drake is entering a similar arrangement with Allen College in Waterloo. Des Moines Area Community College has agreements with the University of Iowa, Iowa Wesleyan and Iowa State aimed at educating more nurses. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates the nursing profession is growing by 15 percent a year.